Photography has played a significant role in architecture since the invention of the camera in 1826 by French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. With the ability to capture the built environment, photography has not only recorded architectural history, but has also influenced the way architects design and present their work.
Architecture is an art form that is constantly changing and evolving, and photography allows us to capture and preserve these changes over time. They can provide a visual record of a building’s construction, its use over time, and the ways in which it has been adapted or altered. This historical record is not only important for preserving architectural heritage, but also for helping architects to understand the context in which they are working.
Photography can also be used as a tool for critique in architecture. In the hands of a skilled photographer, architectural photography can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a building design. Photographs can highlight the details of a building’s form and structure, or expose flaws in its execution.
Architects can also capture the way in which a building interacts with its environment, revealing how it relates to its surroundings and the people who use it. Critiques of architecture are not always positive, but by identifying areas of improvement, photographers can inspire architects to create better buildings.
Finally, photography is an important tool for communication in architecture. Architects use photographs to present their work to clients, collaborators, and the public. Photographs can communicate the essence of a building, showing its form, function, and beauty. They can also convey the architect’s intent and vision for the project. As a visual medium, photography has the power to engage people emotionally, and to create a sense of connection between the viewer and the building.
View from the Window at Le Gras 1826 or 1827, believed to be the earliest surviving camera photograph.